vogue 7726 high waist pants in red

front 2

Simply irresistible! Joel did it on  Northern Exposure, but this YouTube version is the original by Robert Palmer. All the anticipated red vibe…it was in my mind the whole time I was sewing these pants!

This is my second version (original in black here), so here’s a look at the pattern:


I sewed View D in Kaufman Brussels washer linen. It’s a wonderful linen blend, more linen than rayon, and is a great marriage of these two fibers. Unlike 100% linen, this blend is not itchy/prickly or wrinkly. All my pics here are straight out of a wash/dry cycle, no ironing. I don’t iron!

back 2

Such nice pants. I’ve gotten both verbal and non-verbal compliments while wearing them. Makes my heart sing.

Top: New Look 6150 in grunge burnout jersey

Sewing notes, and because it’s easier to photograph red, I can share some details of the construction that just could not be seen on the black pair:

  • I added a line of topstitching above and below the pleats, which secures them and ensures that the waistband facing doesn’t shift.


  • I’m really picky about finishing details, all the way down to the belt loops. I didn’t want mine to ravel, so I serged the ends and took the time to sink all my threads. For me, it’s all part of sewing, I don’t mind extra steps at all.


  • I really wanted to keep the flow and continuity of the color on this pair. Using a contrast belt of some kind didn’t appeal to me. So I made a belt!


This is a 1 3/4″ buckle from Dritz. The sliding middle piece makes it self-catching, and it stays put as promised.

dritz adjustale slide buckle

I did some looking online, and I found lots of similar options at Emmaline Bags. On their site, they’re described as strap sliders, and they come in widths up to 2″.


Cute, right? I interfaced the entire width of the belt, 4.5″ wide unfinished, folded it, and added trapunto stitching.

front belt

  • And as on my black pair, I added a fly shield. My first post (link above) has details. It’s not difficult and makes a huge difference in how the fly looks and feels.

More pics…

front 1back

This is definitely not a quick sew – it has many details, and it requires attention and time during layout, cutting, and construction. But it’s so worth the effort, and I enjoy a project that has a bit of challenge.

These pants,  red and black, are my go-to pairs for strutting my stuff  – sassy 🙂

Bye for now – Coco

Hooded cardigan success

side 2

Finally! I’ve been working on a hoodie cardigan design for a couple months, ever since I saw a ‘maxi hoodie’ on Pinterest (below).


I simply cannot find a pattern to match it, but have worked with a several that have requisite elements. A couple of attempts later, my final design is based on the Vogue 9275 jacket, with the hood from McCalls 7634.

line v9275-side

Sewing notes:

  • I used a medium jacket (no lining) and size 12 hood. Incredibly, the necklines match perfectly, all the way down to the shoulder markings. So easy.
  • My fabric is a lovely Hacci sweater knit from Fabric Mart. Like many knits, it’s printed, and this one is solid cream on the inside. I’m super picky about having the wrong side of fabric exposed, because it can really detract from a garment. For a nicer finish to the hood, I faced it (just cut it out twice) in self-fabric.


  • And to avoid having the inside exposed on the front, I drafted facings for the front and back neckline. The back facing has the added benefit of stabilizing the jacket/hood seam, and the front facing will let me add a zipper in future versions.

facing 1

facing 2

  • As much as I like sweatshirts, I’m not always fond of their signature kangaroo pockets. I used a large patch pocket (7 1/2″ high and 7″ wide finished dimension). They don’t even show because of the print.


  • Last change, I added 2″ to the length of the jacket – mine is 36″ long at the center back, from the base of hood to the hem.




Whew. I’m so pleased with this. In anticipation of everything working, I ordered a great small polka dot sweatshirt fabric. I’m going for the whole works:  a zipper, bottom band, and corded hood.

Bye for now – Coco


McCalls 6531 Jacket favorite version


Well, this didn’t take me long! My second, and very favorite , utility jacket version of this great pattern from McCalls.


This is my third version – here’s a look at the previous two (cotton/lycra twill and ripstop). They’re both a little stiff, although the twill is more comfortable than the ripstop.


This latest is Brussels washer linen, which is a linen/rayon blend, more linen than rayon. It is lightweight, rumply after 4 wash/dry cycles, and has a nice slubbed finish.

Fabric from Fabric.com

It’s light enough that I was able to use a drawstring in the waistband casing. I really like the way this looks.


This is almost as long as the longest view, but I took the curve out of the back.


A little blurry 🙂

Some sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size small, instead of the medium.
  • The drawstring is 1/4″ synthetic cord. The pattern calls for 1/8″ cord, but that seems a bit narrow to me. And I only used it in the waist, not in the hem or collar.
  • I placed my casing about an inch below the marking on the pattern, because I’m long-waisted. Even so, it’s does ride a little above my natural waist – but it’s where I like it!
  • Once again, I made my own pocket, nice and big, and added a band at the bottom of the sleeve.


  • I used a vertical buttonhole that’s rounded at the top and bottom. And I practiced a lot to get the right size and thread tension.

buttonhole tests

Great lines and detail, I’m crazy about topstitching, so this was a lot of fun for me


Next up, I’m still working on a long knit hoodie. Wild things…


Ciao! Coco

McCalls 6531 as a utility jacket


My love affair with M6531 continues – I made this version with a utility jacket style in mind 🙂

line art

Going into this project, I had no idea that what I wanted to create is often called a utility jacket – or work jacket. I kept looking at jeans jackets and stumbled on this style. Hundreds of image reviews later, I was ready to go!


So, typical characteristics of a utility jacket: sturdy cotton fabric (twill, denim, drill), hip-length, roomy pockets, some kind of waist treatment (casing with elastic, cord, or belt), lots of buttons, simple collar, set-in long sleeves, and no cuff. A very basic, made-to-purpose jacket.

This pattern has options for all of the above, but also has great sleeves and a pretty banded front band.



This Seaweed cotton/lycra twill from Fabric Mart is perfect for the jacket. It has 30% stretch horizontally and 20% stretch vertically, but does not feel ‘rubbery’. It’s very heavy, similar to a hefty bull denim, and does not wrinkle at all, no matter how much I mistreat it. It does ravel, so I serged all the edges of the cut pieces before I started sewing – it just makes the construction process so much easier and pleasant.


A few sewing notes:

  • This is the size medium – it’s a bit oversized, and I think I’ll use the size small for future versions.
  • I used a 90/14 needle, long stitch, and low presser foot pressure. No problems at all.
  • The seams are faux flat-felled, because the fabric is just too heavy for a true flat fell.
  • I fashioned my own pocket, which finished at 7″ tall and 6 1/4″ wide.
  • The waistband casing fits perfectly to the jacket. I opted for 3/4″ wide knit elastic instead of any kind of belt – no fuss!
  • I love the added detail of the cording in the collar.
  • I tried many many times to get a good buttonhole (on scraps!), but the stretch worked against me no matter which style buttonhole I used. So instead, I used six #4 sew-on snaps, topped with simple work buttons on the outside.
  • Caution – the sleeves on the pattern are quite short. I added 1 3/4″ to the sleeve, and then, an additional 1″ wide band to finish.




This color is difficult to photograph, but the last 3 pics are correct – it’s a great color.

And if it looks familiar, this is the same pattern I used to make my ripstop jacket (here). They look so different!


I spent days on this project, and it was so much fun that I’m sorry to be done. Ha. I have some sage green Brussels washer linen next to me. I’ll be cutting it out this afternoon, and I think the linen will be another look entirely.

Happy weekend! Coco

V9275 and M7634 Trying new patterns


I’ve been having so much fun with the 4.75 yards of jersey I picked up from Fabric Mart’s pre-cut sales!

This outfit is a combo from two patterns. The top, Vogue 9275,


And the pants, McCalls 7634,


Will I wear them together? Probably not, but I put them together here to talk about them.


Breaking it down, I just love this top! It has a really pretty and unassuming cowl neck:

Igram collar

And beautiful details. This is the underarm, where the extended ‘sleeve’ meets with the side seam:

bottom of armhole

The curved hem is lovely.


A few notes:

  • I sewed the size XS! and love the fit. It’s very over-sized.
  • I stabilized the shoulders for about 5″ with knit fusible interfacing.
  • And serged the hem and turned it up 5/8″, instead of doing a narrow hem. Then I used Steam-a-Seam in the hem to facilitate the topstitching.

This will definitely be repeated. It’s a perfect top for PJs, under a cardigan, or over leggings. Just easy to wear and so distinctive.

On to the pants. I bought this pattern from McCalls because I like the hood on the top. But the pants are great – slim and rather fun to wear.


It can be difficult to find elastic waist pants that don’t have a ton of gathers going into the waistband. These really succeed because the band is not elastic in a casing – it’s self-fabric, basically an extension of the pants.


I sewed a straight size 12, no changes. Future adjustments: I think I’ll add about 1.5″ to the rise, front and back. And tighten the waistband so they don’t want to slip down. Actually, I think fabric choice will really impact how they fit at the waist. This jersey is very stretchy, coming and going.

I’m not done yet with these patterns. Fall sewing – I’m going to use the jacket from the Vogue pattern, and the hood from the McCalls pattern, and make a long hooded cardigan in French terry knit. And that’s as close as I’ll get to sewing with a plan 🙂

Ciao! Coco